Messages “On” the bottle

80 designers coming from 17 countries have been invited to create a personal “message on the bottle” in the form of a label or just as a form of free expression.

Perini Journal

It seems that the first message on a bottle was sent by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus in 310 B.C., in order to prove that the Mediterranean Sea was created through the affluence of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Since then, more than a few bottles and messages have been entrusted to the waters of seas and oceans. In May 2005, 88 South American castaways abandoned adrift by human traffickers off the coasts of Costa Rica, were saved by a boat belonging to the “Marviva” environmental association.


THIS TIME THE MESSAGE IS “ON” THE BOTTLE. No salt water but good wine, no castaways but 80 designers coming from 17 countries, presenting their projects in an itinerant exhibition that began at the Design Festival Hamburg in 2007, on show in 2008 at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan and will soon land in Sicily, in the city of Randazzo, at the “Museo della vite, del vino e dell’etichetta” (Museum of the vine, wine and labels), organized by the designers Francalma Nieddu and Olav Jünke. The social theme of drinking and driving was addressed in projects by Leonardo Sonnoli, who came up with the label “Don’t drive beyond this bend”, indicating the amount not to be exceeded in order to remain sober at the wheel, and “Drivers don’t drink, drinkers don’t drive” by Sonia Pedrazzini. Ecology is the topic of the project “Save me from global warming” by Margherita Urbani, showing a bunch of grapes wilting in the heat from the effects of global warming, and “D-eco” by Francalma Nieddu, a decorative and environmentally friendly bottle with a décor that can be removed and stuck to other objects or, alternatively, the decorated bottle can be recycled as a very original flower vase.


MESSAGES OF LOVE AND PEACE were launched by Annagemma Lascari and Naoko Shintani, as well as a message of protest, like “Bush’s insane war”, a critique by Paolo Ulian who wrapped the bottle with a page from a newspaper whose headline is the title of the work. Messages written with wine by Isolde Frey and messages praising life’s pleasures as seen, for example, in Ilse Crawford’s works. Gianni Sinni and Peter Schmidt quoted from classic works of literature and there were labels to “leaf through”, like Giulio Jacchetti’s “Red Wine for Meditation”, or simple instructions for use: “Drink!” by Erik Spiekermann. Another topic was sharing good moments together, as in the “Contengo” project by Franca Pauli and Dario Colombo. Alessio Leonardi from Berlin, however, sent an ironic message: “Bottlass”, a glass mounted horizontally on the bottle, accompanied by an amusing manual with instructions on how to use this curious object.


SOME TRIED TO INCREASE THE PRACTICAL NATURE OF THE LABEL by experimenting with new materials, like the designer Michele Palazzo, who used a heat-sensitive label which changes color to indicate the correct drinking temperature: “Touch me, hot!” The message which traveled the furthest came from designer Peter Cooper of Sydney, who photographed the word “white”, written in the sand on the beach, which was then turned into a label for white wine. •

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